At Susan Singer’s Beyond Barbie, presented by the Chesterfield County Domestic and Sexual Violence Resource Center and Domestic Violence Task Force, I read excerpts from my blog along with other writers, dancers, poets and musicians in a celebration of the strength of women to creatively heal and empower. The documentary producer who with her camera crew was filming the performance asked me to stay and answer more questions to follow up an interview in November as a model for Susan. Everyone had left but the producer, the camera woman and I.
Following the interview, emotionally spent, alone, I walked to my car feeling very hollow. I welcomed the cool breeze in the residual warmth of the night. In the middle of the parking lot I paused, and looked up at the star filled sky, breathing deeply to decompress the intensity of the night. Then, as though I had just discovered something, a sudden revelation I was shocked to learn, I remembered with acute anguish. My husband shot me. My children’s father, my intimate professor of love, my soulmate wannabe looked into my eyes, and he shot me. And he kept shooting me.
I continued walking, unlocked the door and sat in my car in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn, with these words flooding my head.
I am an oddity
A freak show at a carnival
An unusual deformity
This woman wonder
On view here today
Come on in
Touch her wounds
Hear the pain
Watch the transformation
of this emerging butterfly
Hear her gripping tale
of defying the odds
Watch as she walks the tightrope
suspended between then and now
dangerously traversing with no safety net below
She will make you laugh
Make you cry
Bring you to your knees
Your jaw will drop at the incomprehension
as you cover your mouth in shock
You will love her
You will hate the part of you she is
She mesmerizes with her prose.
Watch as she exchanges energy,
leaves the audience breathless and silent
Step right up and get your tickets here
So rare – one of the few left in the world
Here for a limited time only
Cmon folks, catch her while you can
See if she makes it to the other side
Watch her rattle against the chains that bind her,
break free and walk out
This one woman show
This solitary ghost
This spirit on loan
Come on in
(c) ldj 14apr2012
At times it is very difficult to grasp my survival. As grateful as I am, beyond words, it is at the same time difficult to live with. All that has happened, and the girl I was before any of it lost forever. It is the quiet hours that still prove most challenging. I continue piecing together these fragments to create my life, meanwhile still seeking solace and escape to a place where it doesn’t exist.
It is a fight with an invisible enemy, punching into the darkness to keep it at bay.